Up in good case, and so by coach to St. James’s after my fellows, and there did our business, which is mostly every day to complain of want of money, and that only will undo us in a little time.
Here, among other things, before us all, the Duke of Yorke did say, that now at length he is come to a sure knowledge that the Dutch did lose in the late engagements twenty-nine captains and thirteen ships. Upon which Sir W. Coventry did publickly move, that if his Royal Highness had this of a certainty, it would be of use to send this down to the fleete, and to cause it to be spread about the fleete, for the recovering of the spirits of the officers and seamen; who are under great dejectedness for want of knowing that they did do any thing against the enemy, notwithstanding all that they did to us. Which, though it be true, yet methought was one of the most dishonourable motions to our countrymen that ever was made; and is worth remembering.
Thence with Sir W. Pen home, calling at Lilly’s, to have a time appointed when to be drawn among the other Commanders of Flags the last year’s fight. And so full of work Lilly is, that he was fain to take his table-book out to see how his time is appointed, and appointed six days hence for him to come between seven and eight in the morning.
Thence with him home; and there by appointment I find Dr. Fuller, now Bishop of Limericke, in Ireland; whom I knew in his low condition at Twittenham. I had also by his desire Sir W. Pen, and with him his lady and daughter, and had a good dinner, and find the Bishop the same good man as ever; and in a word, kind to us, and, methinks, one of the comeliest and most becoming prelates in all respects that ever I saw in my life. During dinner comes an acquaintance of his, Sir Thomas Littleton; whom I knew not while he was in my house, but liked his discourse; and afterwards, by Sir W. Pen, do come to know that he is one of the greatest speakers in the House of Commons, and the usual second to the great Vaughan. So was sorry I did observe him no more, and gain more of his acquaintance.
After dinner, they being gone, and I mightily pleased with my guests, I down the river to Greenwich, about business, and thence walked to Woolwich, reading “The Rivall Ladys” all the way, and find it a most pleasant and fine writ play. At Woolwich saw Mr. Shelden, it being late, and there eat and drank, being kindly used by him and Bab, and so by water to Deptford, it being 10 o’clock before I got to Deptford, and dark, and there to Bagwell’s, and, having staid there a while, away home, and after supper to bed.
The Duke of Yorke said this day that by the letters from the Generals they would sail with the Fleete this day or to-morrow.
come to a sure knowledge
of the spirit
how it is kind to us
like a guest
down the river I find
a dark sail
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 July 1666.